Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Geraldine-- "the devil made me do it!"

Well, okay, it wasn't Flip Wilson's Geraldine character, but the real thing, Geraldine Ferraro-- one time Vice Presidential candidate-- who said "if Obama was a white man, he wouldn't be in this position." She said almost the exact same thing about Jesse Jackson twenty years ago.

Obama's campaign is furious, of course.

But it's not because of 'the race card'.

What Ferraro said is an insult, true enough; her assertion goes more to Obama's mediocrity than his blackness.

She is describing, in a roundabout way, the phenomenon known as 'white guilt'.

Ferraro is saying that it is white liberals (and probably some conservatives), feeling guilty about the suffering of black people down through the centuries, who are carrying Obama to the top of the vote count and delegate count and state win count.

After all, black people are only about 15% of this country, and some of those don't vote for Obama anyway.

Remember, not long ago Senator Joe Biden (D- Delaware), in one of his many frank but stupid moments, said Obama was 'clean and articulate', a wonderful candidate; Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson must have privately fumed, given they have both been presidential candidates in the past, but they did not speak out against the evil racist Biden-- he is a Dem.

And noted (black) author Shelby Steele has written a book on this topic, also called "White Guilt". It is a chance for redemption, to cast a vote and choose a black man to lead us, and expunge from the collective conscience all our previous maltreatment of black people by elevating a symbolic man to ultimate power. It is a way for a white person to overcome his own doubt and say to himself, once and for all, "I am not a racist". It is proof of his moral superiority, and I submit that is no small emotional pull.

It is, of course, a pitiful reason to vote for a President. Americans should know and vote the issues, instead of trying to 'make themselves feel better about themselves'. That sort of thing is selfish, juvenile and destructive. But they will do it, and Obama is the guy who will tug on their self-esteem all the way to the ballot box.

Ferraro has spoken the truth; if he were not a real, true-life African-American, he would not have been elevated to this place. He is a typical leftist, not distinguished by achievements; that is, unless you count the achievements others have planned that he take credit for.

His ascendancy from the beginning has been about the idea of marketing an 'acceptable black man' to the white guilt crowd. They knew of the power of this emotional tug, and they planned all along to use it. White people would never vote in large numbers for Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton; those two began their public lives as militants, agitators, troublemakers. But Obama is a Harvard guy, lawyer, was not raised in the 'hood' and does not speak in the patois of the culturally black (except for the odd excursion into that realm on the campaign trail, clearly phony but also clearly effective).

Electing Obama will do nothing to reduce racism, of course, and probably will exacerbate it-- if his pastor's activities and statements have any sway at all with him, Obama will encourage and promote a platform of racial preferences and so forth, and become in office the militant he never was in private life. After all, Pastor Wright accompanied Louis Farrakhan to Libya to meet (then the enemy of America) Muammar Khadafy.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that jam session.

But the point Ferraro made is strong; Obama is a mediocre man, smooth talker but without much of a performance record and nothing to indicate that he's going to 'blossom' someday. The blossoming is all being handled for him, and the favors he'll owe are going to make a very very long list.

He would not be a leading politician, probably not one at all, if not for being the right color in the right place at the right time. Sad, but true. No wonder Obama's crowd are angry.

But his response was, essentially, to condemn Hillary for allowing her 'supporters' to 'bring race into the race', so to speak. He has not acknowledged what Ferraro was actually saying.

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